The moviemaker, who has battled ill health in recent years, revealed this summer (12) that liver specialists have given him between 18 months and two years and he now admits the prognosis led him to look into the controversial Dignitas institution in Switzerland.
The 76 year old opened up about his research in a new interview with Britain’s The Times newspaper, insisting he was put off by the amount of paperwork required to go through with assisted suicide.
He says, “I checked Dignitas on the computer and you need to go through so much. It’s not a walk-in death. You don’t just go in and say ‘Here I am, do your worst.’ You have to go through a whole series of papers and re-examinations just to die. You have to fill in forms and things and you have to fly there, go back twice…
“I think the idea that people should be able to have an assisted suicide is absolutely highly proper. Why should people elongate life when it’s no good for them? People should have the right to terminate their own life. If you’re dead, you’re dead, so who cares? I’m very happy to snuff it. I’ve had enough time on earth. I’d be happy if someone gave me the plug to pull.”
Winner admits his beloved wife Geraldine is the person who keeps him going, adding, “(Being married) has led me to see a side of the human spirit that I didn’t believe anyone could posses. The way she’s looked after me (is) incredible. It’s difficult for her, but she puts a brave face on it.”